A policewoman from the Jasienica police station, Staff Sergeant Agata Haluch-Willmann, saved the life of a 3-year-old who had fallen into a sewage manhole. The police officer’s courage and decisive reaction, together with the help of the fire brigade, made it possible to avoid a tragedy. The chilled little boy was taken into the care of doctors.
On Wednesday, 2 October 2022, moments before 4 p.m., emergency services were directed to the area of the School and Kindergarten Complex in Wieszczęty, where a several-year-old child was about to fall into a sewage manhole. Police officers were the first to arrive at the scene and confirmed the report. The 3-year-old was stuck in a narrow pipe a few metres underground. He was submerged up to his neck in water. The boy was frightened and crying. He did not have the strength to pull himself up on the rope by himself, submerging further and further. None of the firefighters could fit inside, as the diameter of the opening, was only about half a metre. The boy’s mother tried to pull him out herself before the services arrived, but she was not successful either.
Every second counted, so the policewoman from the Jasienica Police Station – Staff Sergeant Agata Haluch-Willmann offered to pull 3-year-old Franek out. The policewoman was lowered into the narrow opening head down with her arms stretched forward, as this was the only effective way for the action to save the child to succeed. She was belayed by a harness, put on by the firefighters and held by them additionally by her legs. In the process of lowering her, the woman herself became stuck in the hole. However, with the help of the firefighters, who arranged her body so that she could get through the very narrow opening, she climbed inside the manhole and made contact with the child, grabbing her hands. She and Franek were then pulled to the surface.
The child had no visible injuries. 3-year-old Franek was taken by ambulance to the hospital for observation. According to the doctors, however, he is no longer in danger.
The boy’s mother, in whose care was also the other 5-year-old child, explained how the incident happened. When the children ran out of the kindergarten, as usual, after a while the older child started shouting to his mother that his brother had just fallen into a manhole.
At the scene of the incident, police officers from the investigation team have carried out a visual examination and witnesses are currently being interviewed. All the circumstances of the incident, in particular, whether the manhole was properly secured, will be investigated by police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Bielsko-Biała police station.